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"Nobody wakes up and thinks: Today I'm going to join a cult."

Drama, 2 ACTS | 4M, 3F

Asha Ray is a deprogrammer. An exrtractionist. She is the last port of call for desperate people who’ve reached the limits of what law enforcement can do for them in terms of pulling loved ones out of cults. She’s considered one of the best – maybe the best – (certainly the most unflinching) with dozens of ‘recoveries’ to her credit across the Pacific Northwest. She doesn’t have a business card or an office. Her clients find her through under-the-table referrals by legal aid deputies and social workers, which means that the money (when there is any money) isn’t good – barely enough to keep beer in the fridge, and mouse traps in the cupboards of the walk-up apartment she sublets above a laundromat in the cheapest part of the East Side. Which is fine by Asha, who prefers the anonymous crush of high-density squalor to spending too much time any place folks might try to get to know her....

When a vulnerable woman disappears, Asha is asked to investigate the top suspect: a politic young man who is a rising member of the powerful and secretive organization called Luminia. With the help of retired detective Rueben Medina, Asha slips into this dangerous world, making new enemies and exposing old secrets – including a few of her own. Can Asha find the answers she needs in time to stop history repeating itself?


  • 2023 Calgary Critics Choice Award for Outstanding New Play - Nominated

  • 2023 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Original Script - Nominated

  • APN 2021 Alberta Playwriting Competition - Finalist

  • International ScreenCraft Stage Play Contest 2021 - Semi-Finalist


“The plot unravels in a fascinating way, with several convoluted twists that really suck the reader in. There’s a real cinematic feel to this script that makes it stand out above other stage scripts within this genre. Asha is a complex and compelling character who stays with the reader, long after they’ve finished the script.”

 - International ScreenCraft Stage Play Contest (2021) Jury

“A tight compelling thriller with a strong female lead and a surprise ending! This play is ready for a stylish production.”

 - Alberta Playwrighting Competition (2021) Jury

“…from start to finish, [The Extractionist] had the audience on the edge of their seats…”
- Nimra Amir, The Gauntlet

Jeffery has a gift for writing natural-sounding dialogue […] The scenes sizzle because they seem so real […] The audience is like eavesdroppers in these people’s lives…”
- Louis B. Hobson, The Calgary Herald

“The Extractionist is a phenomenal piece of new Canadian Theatre. Michaela Jeffery’s script is  fast-paced, complex, and entertaining. Craig Hall directed this thriller masterfully. Also the cast is top notch. Highly recommend.”

“We saw it last night and it’s AWESOME! The sets and lighting are incredible and pair perfectly with the delicious twisty story. GO SEE IT!!!”

Stellar show. Set design, story, characters, actors, lighting, music (great nod to Cyberpunk). This show needs t be on many stages.”

“Amazing opening! Do not miss this fantastic theatre thriller!”

“This show was just so damn good. Go see it. That’s it. That’s the tweet.”

“The set design and projection were worth the price of admission alone, but it’s also the premiere of a cracking good mystery by a Calgary playwright.”

“Went to see The Extractionist – it was phenomenal

“… a tour de force. Really enjoyed the story...”

“Saw The Extractionist last night – highly recommended. It’s innovative, exciting, and local.”

“Absolutely amazing show!”

“If you asked me to pick my fav – story, acting, set… I really couldn’t. What an amazing show! Please please please bring back this playwright.”

“Chillingly relevant in today’s world.”

Fabulous show, very unique.”

“Saw the show last week… BRILLIANT and very different from the norm…”


2023              Vertigo Theatre           Calgary, AB, CAN


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